A beautiful and eccentric cousin to the philodendron, anthuriums are a favorite plant genus among houseplant collectors for their unique, veined leaves and neon-colored flowers. With an estimated 825 species within it, the genus offers many fascinating plants.
Anthuriums belong to the aroid family and originate from South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The grow epiphytically along dense tropical trees, making them the perfect plant to add to your indoor jungle. The most common forms of anthurium are also called Flamingo Flowers and have long-lasting, waxy blooms on thin stems. More unusual varieties are prized for their large, patterned leaves and tend to be more wide than tall at maturity.
They may have a few extra care requirements than other plants, but it is absolutely worth it to add this unique beauty to your home. Here is all you need to know to keep your anthuriums happy and healthy.
Used to living in the canopy of tropical forests, anthuriums need medium to bright, indirect light to thrive in your home. They are prone to sunburn, so make sure the light is not too harsh. They do best when placed near an east- or west-facing window or directly in front of a north-facing window.
Anthuriums prefer to have moist soil, but not soggy. Let the top two inches of soil dry out between waterings.
Because they prefer their soil to stay moist, anthuriums must be planted in a breathable mix to make sure they are not water-logged. Something like an orchid planting mix with added peat moss, shredded bark, perlite, charcoal, and spaghnum moss will keep them thriving. Don’t rush to pot up to a larger-sized container unless necessary; anthuriums prefer to be slightly root-bound.
Temperature & Humidity
Anthuriums are very sensitive to the cold. They prefer to be kept in temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, although a rest period in winter with less water and lower temperatures and light levels can often stimulate them to rebloom. Medium or high humidity is a must for this genus as their leaves will brown without enough moisture in the air; grow in a bathroom or kitchen where air is usually more humid or use a humidifier to improve conditions. The good news is that you can boost humidity without turning your home into a jungle:
- Humidifier: Add a large one to boost the humidity of the entire room or a smaller tabletop humidifier to target plants directly.
- Misting: Misting plants can work great to boost humidity. Make sure you are using a fine mister and only doing so in the morning so the water has the rest of the day to evaporate.
- Grouping plants together: Plants can help boost one another’s humidity too!
- Wet pebble tray: Filling a tray (with a larger diameter than your plant) with pebbles and water and placing plants on top is a great way to enhance humidity for specific plants.
- Domes: Place over a plant to help with humidity, but make sure to remove it for a bit each day so your plant can catch its breath.
To help your anthurium thrive, make sure to fertilize once a month during the growing season, from March through September; a diluted blend at half strength can help avoid over-fertilization or potential foliage burn.
All parts of the plant are known to be toxic to humans and pets if ingested. Handling parts of the plant can cause mild skin irritation from contact with sap, so be cautious and wear gloves when handling.
Leaf browning or wilting: This is usually due to underwatering or low humidity; increase the humidity to help balance moisture needs.
Leaf yellowing: Yellow leaf tips or yellowing leaves that are lower or toward the inside of plant may be caused by overwatering. Yellowing leaves toward top of the plant may indicate too much direct light.
Spider mites, mealybugs & fungus gnats: Anthurium’s foliage is prone to spider mites and occasionally mealybugs. You can help prevent this by regularly wiping the leaves to remove dust and spraying them down with neem oil, a natural pest preventative. If your Anthurium contracts spider mites (leaves will appear dull or less shiny, very fine webbing may be seen with close inspection), fill a spray bottle with water, add a little bit of dish soap, and spray on the leaves and stems to drown the spider mites or use a commercial houseplant spray such as Neem Oil or MiteX as directed by the label. After waiting a few minutes, wipe everything down with a paper towel. If you develop a fungus gnat problem, top-dress with Mosquito Bits or dust the top of the soil with Diatomaceous Earth until the issue is resolved. The best way to avoid fungus gnats is not to overwater your plants; allow the top 2 or 3 inches to go dry before watering again.
Failure to rebloom: Give your anthurium plants a six-week rest during the winter. Move them to an area that gets less light and lower temperatures. Reduce your watering. This should help them produce more flowers the following year.
Types of Anthuriums
With so many different species of anthurium, there is something for every level of houseplant collector. Some of our recent favorites in this genus are:
Come visit one of our retail locations and grab an anthurium to add the perfect touch to your indoor jungle!